On April 8, 2016 College Boreal’s culinary students along with head chef Justin Bonney hosted the third Bistro to raise awareness and funds for the culinary program.
The funds raised will be used for the students' educational trip to Niagara Falls for the Food and Wine Festival which takes place yearly.
Chef Bonney also teaches the first and second year students in the two-year program.
The first year program, students receive a certificate in Chef Training and the second year is for Culinary Management. This program is designed to prepare the students for the food industry while assisting them in gaining real world experience through the Bistro’s which take place three times per year.
This was Bonney’s sixth Bistro with his students, and this will be the final Bistro of the 2016 school year.
“The event is very successful. We sell tickets and have even had a waiting list for people to get into the bistro. The menu is completely created by the students. This particular event is a Maple Sugar Harvest themed menu” said Bonney.
Students are responsible for not only preparing the various courses of the meal, but also menu creation, presentation of the courses, preparing the décor, and the event aims to mimic a real restaurant.
Richard Lafleur, owner of Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa has partnered with College Boreal for the event.
“This type of event is great for showing the students the real world experience they will need. In a classroom setting if they cannot handle the speed, and stress then they will know before that speed becomes a daily responsibility in their jobs. It is great experience and helps the students get a feel for the career they are pursuing,” said Lafleur who also mentioned this will be his first year having a student work in his kitchen with his team of cooks and chefs.
Chef Melanie Dufresne who is also involved in the program stated that the Bistro Boreal evenings are part of the program curriculum for both first and second year students.
Students attending the event are a mix of students from the program who will be working with Chef Bonney to fill orders; Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) and local high schools will be taking the orders, bringing plates to the tables, and clearing tables.
OYAP is a School to Work program that opens the door for students to explore and work in apprenticeship occupations starting in Grade 11 or Grade 12 through the Cooperative Education program.
Many of the volunteers are from Ecole Secondaire Theriault although it was open to all local high school students.
Dufresne also said “This time we have paired up with TAPIT for beer pairings and a sommelier for pairing wine to three of our courses. This is a very successful event selling out every time we have hosted it.”
Chef Dufresne and Chef Bonney both said that this event was sold out at 64 sold tickets.